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Judge Approves Settlement in Broken Knee Misdiagnosis Claim

Posted: May 3rd, 2014

A High Court judge has approved the settlement of a broken knee misdiagnosis claim in favour of a young female athlete who had been hoping to compete in the Special Olympics.

The Special Olympics World Games is a bi-annual sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities and, in May 2009, Amy Rose McGowan (now 31 years of age) from Trim in County Meath was training to represent Ireland in the Games that were scheduled to take place in Athens in the summer of 2011.

Unfortunately Amy Rose had fallen and hurt her knee during a 50 metre sprint, and had attended Our Lady´s Hospital in Navan, County Meath, for a precautionary x-ray on 8th May 2009. At the hospital, an x-ray was taken, and doctors diagnosed Amy Rose´s injury as soft tissue damage.

A few months later, Amy Rose attended her GP because the pain in her knee had not subsided; and it was due to this visit that a depressed fracture in her knee was discovered. The discovery of the fracture came too late for corrective intervention, and Amy Rose missed her opportunity to qualify for the games.

It was also determined that, due to the oversight of her injury, Amy Rose is likely to need knee replacement surgery later in life; and – after seeking legal advice – Amy Rose made a broken knee misdiagnosis claim against the hospital and the Health Service Executive (HSE) through her mother – Collette McGowan.

After an investigation at Our Lady´s Hospital, the HSE admitted liability for Amy Rose´s injury and a settlement of €142,000 was agreed. However, as the broken knee misdiagnosis claim had been made on Amy Rose´s behalf due to her intellectual disability, it first had to be approved by a judge.

In the High Court, Mr Justice Michael Peart heard how Amy had previously won 34 medals and 10 trophies in athletics and swimming before the accident, and he invited her to show them to the court.

Stating that he was “very impressed and full of admiration” for Amy Rose, he added it was a pity that her athletics career had been cut short. After approving the settlement, Judge Peart adjourned the hearing after wishing Amy Rose a happy life with her family.

Categories: Hospital Negligence News

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